Spain_mapCapital: Madrid
Population: 47.4 million (July 2013 est.) 
GDP: €1.005 tillion (2013)
GDP/capita: €21,791 (2013) 

Fish production:
Capture: 757,829 tonnes live weight (2012, Eurostat)
   Aquaculture: 266,593 tonnes live weight (2012, Eurostat)
   Exports: Value: €3,040,131 (2011, FAO)
   Imports: Value: €5,309,169 (2011, FAO)

Overview of the Spanish fisheries and aquaculture sector

The Spanish fishing fleet is made up of around 13 000 vessels, the 3rd largest in the EU with Galicia representing almost 50% of all vessels followed by Andalusia (ca. 15%), Catalonia and the Canary Islands (both with ca. 9%). In terms of value, the most important fish species are tuna, albacore, and needlefish followed by coastal fish; cod, hake, herring, sardines, and  anchovies. Crustaceans and molluscs consisting of prawns, shrimp, squid, cuttlefish, and octopus are ranked third. Fishing provides employment to roughly 41 500 people (0.24% of the total employed in Spain) but maintains an unemployment rate of 7.2%, well below the average of the Spanish economy (24.63%, registered in the second quarter of 2012).

Spain is the EU Member State with the highest volume of aquaculture production: 271 963 tonnes in 2011, however, when considering the value of the products, Spain ranks fourth with €457.3 million, behind the United Kingdom, France, and Greece. The largest source of aquaculture in Spain is the mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis ), which produced 212 556 tonnes in 2011, far above any fishery product. As for finfish farming the top three species were seabream, rainbow trout and sea bass. Employment in the aquaculture sector consisted of 27 180 people in 2011 with a total number of 5 120 aquaculture facilities showing a steady reduction in the number of farms over the last years.  Marine aquaculture made up 1 935 direct jobs in 2012, an increase of 3.8 % compared to 2011, while inland aquaculture increased 12.5 % to 939 employees in 2011. A total of 109 200 tonnes of fish feed was used for aquaculture production in 2012.

The Spanish processing industry is a leader in the EU and the third largest in the international market showing an increase from 1996 to 2006 of 42% in gross terms and 81% in terms of income. The most important fish species for the processing industry are the tunas, followed by anchovies and sardines. The industry is mainly composed of medium sized companies mostly in the canning sector and to a lesser extent by frozen and fresh processed seafood. 513 companies were involved in the seafood processing industry in Spain in 2011. This is a 10% reduction compared to 2008. As a consequence of the decreased number of companies, employement also decreased 7% in the same period. Despite the crisis, Spanish seafood processing remains strong.

Spanish consumers focus mainly on fresh products but consumption of processed seafood is slowly increasing year by year. Being a traditional product, canned seafood is better accepted by consumers compared to frozen fish.


Latest news about Spain in the Eurofish Magazine

Research, promotion campaigns, close links to government, & strong associations - Spanish aquaculture sector draws strength from different sources
Jan. 2013
Seabass and seabream farming in Croatia, Italy, Spain, and Turkey - Similar issues bedevil marine aquaculture throughout the Mediterranean

Jan. 2013
Alimentaria 2014, Barcelona - Food and drinks, a foundation of the Spanish economy
Jan. 2013
Spain: Hydro-acoustic measurements can give accurate biomass estimates
Jan. 2013
Spain: Top administration officials visit microalgae production site
Jan. 2013
Spain: Three shellfish zones reopened in Galicia
Nov. 2013
Seafood Barcelona - Quality bacalao combines Icelandic raw materials with Spanish chef
Nov. 2013
Conxemar - FAO Whitefish Congress in Vigo - Unique opportunity to explore market trends
Nov. 2013
Spain:Pescanova investors seize control
Nov. 2013
Aquaculture in Spain
Jul. 2013

For the complete list of features on Spain click here.

Other publications on Spain

Useful Links for Spain

Industrias Pesqueras (Spanish)

MAGRAMA  - Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Conxemar - Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufacturers and Exporters of Fish products and Aquaculture
Spanish Oceanographic Institute
Puertos del Estado (Monthly statistics on post statistics including Fishing in tonnes - In Spanish)


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